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Thursday, 22 April 2010

Best bit of cycling kit?

I was thinking the other day when I was considering whether to spend more money on more kit- what is the best bit of cycling kit I own? Now, when I ask this, I am discounting actual bikes as cycling kit. What I was considering was things that I wear, things that I carry, thingst that I fix to my bike and things that I use to fix my bike.

There were a few candidates- my Tacx Spider workstand

was certainly in the running, as was my Altura Airstream jacket but for me, the hands down winner was my Exposure Joystick light-

(mine is red by the way).
I wear mine on a helmet mount-

This light is the dogs wossnames. it is light, bright, rechargeable and cable free. I have mine on the helmet because it gets me noticed. I have it on flashing mode and this seems to get noticed as it is higher than the general background clutter.

They can be a bit pricey but, if you are looking for really good lights, the Exposure range is well worth a look-
Exposure lights

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A change of tack

Over recent months, the Cycle Patrol fraternity amongs British police has come in for quite a bit of stick. The first aggro episode related to what was called the 93 page manual on how to ride a bike. This firestorm about nothing seems to have been lit and stoked by The Sun- obviously the Glitteratti of the Celebrity World hadn't been up to much in the preceeding 48 hours or so otherwise pages of rubbish about who had been seen clandestinely "talking" to who or which Premier League footballer had been arrested for what would have taken priority.

One of the journalists who wrote about this non event was Peter Walker of The Guardian. He went on to ask Is a 10 hour cycling course for Police a waste of time? which, when read closely is actually a genuine question. he wanted to know whether or not it WAS a waste of time. I responded to this and explained that the training was not about learning to ride but learning to use a bike as a tool. I suggested he have a go at training and he was interested. A friend from the City of London Police at Snow Hill, James Aveling (fellow instructor) contacted him and invited him to try a condensed version of the 4 day CoLP course. Peter accepted and subsequently posted about why he was foolish to mock police bike training. A number of things came out of this. 1) He learned what the training was about. 2) He learned some new skills. 3) He has written an article that supports the training we do. He also admits openly that he was wrong in his original cricism of the training ideas. Saying so publicly takes guts.

Respect to Peter Walker.